TSS doula support

Born at Health Foundations in St. Paul, Minnesota | Roman's Birth Story in Photographs by Meredith Westin

July 9th, 2019 | 3:34 pm

When this strong mama reached out to me and Gina several months ago about booking our doula support + birth photography package, we were thrilled. Our meeting at a Starbucks in downtown St. Paul was full of laughs and I was able to look forward to capturing her birth in photographs for ages because she planned ahead and secured our services before we booked up. Smart mama! The day finally arrived and we met her at the birth center bright and early. When I walked in, I could hear the telltale signs of a woman in active labor. She powered through HOURS of labor and finally finally finally got to meet her baby in the middle of the afternoon after utilizing sterile water injections (twice!), the TENS machine, and all the doula tricks Gina could muster.

Doula: Gina of the sown seed

Welcome to the world, sweet boy! We are so glad you’re here!

Born at Home in Downtown Minneapolis | A Preview of Cedar's Birth Story + A Birth Film! by Meredith Westin


12:00 pm | April 26, 2019

It’s always a treat to attend a birth with my doula partner, Gina, and this one was no exception. Our lovely client had a long, slow labor with her first kiddo. Two and a half years ago, the weather was dreary. After two long days of contractions, her water finally broke as her baby was born. This time around, she woke up at 6:30 am after a good night of sleep to a thump — her water had broken! She texted us right away to let us know what had happened and said she’d keep us posted. After an hour, Gina spoke to her husband on the phone and could tell that things were ramping up. She let me know she’d be joining them soon and told me to get ready. When she arrived, our client was starting to feel like pushing. Fortunately, I was already on my way. By the time I walked into their apartment a few minutes later ready to start documenting with my cameras around my neck, things were in full swing. Water was flowing into the birth pool, their sweet kiddo was contentedly watching a show while his mama labored next to him, and their wonderful midwife was setting up her things. A few beautiful hours later, we got to photograph them as they met their newest little baby.

Welcome to the world, Cedar. We’re so glad you’re here.

Gina and I were so thrilled to provide our Doula Support + Birth Photography package to this family and we were even more excited when they chose to add on a Birth Announcment Film and a Birth Story Film. If you’d like to learn more about our team, visit our service page.

Born in Maplewood, Minnesota | A Preview of Kaia's Birth Photos by Meredith Westin

January 3, 2019 | 1:25 pm

It always amazes me how quickly a baby is born once the decision is made to go down the hall for an unplanned cesarean section. Once baby is born, it’s usually just a short while before they make their way from the newborn station over to their mama’s chest for skin-to-skin bonding and maybe even an attempt at latching and initiating their breastfeeding relationship. Most of my clients who end up with a surgical birth haven’t planned to have one and it’s always an honor to support them through the process. While I’m not always allowed into the operating room, I have had really good luck and have been able to join the majority of my clients to photograph the birth of their baby.

Welcome to the world, sweet girl! We’re so glad you’re here!

Born at Health Foundations in St. Paul, Minnesota | A Preview of Isla's Birth Story in Photographs by Meredith Westin

December 1st, 2018 | 8:15 am

We talk a lot about optimal fetal positioning in the birth world. This little baby’s brow was pressed down into her mama’s pelvis during labor so she came out with a funny little bulge on her forehead. Generally, babies are positioned with the crown of their heads entering the pelvis first. When they tuck their chins, they are positioned optimally so that their heads can mold to fit the pelvis. Because Isla presented with her forehead rather than the crown of her head, her mama had to work extra hard to deliver her. A little maternal positioning help from her amazing doula, Gina of the sown seed, got things moving and baby was born shortly afterwards.

Welcome to the world, sweet girl! We’re so glad you’re here!


Born at Ridgeview Hospital in Waconia, Minnesota | Terre's Birth Story by Meredith Westin

November 4th, 2018 | 7:53 pm

I’m writing this on November 5th, 2018, the day after sweet Terre’s birth, which happens to be the two year anniversary of my birth photography career. I spent most of yesterday with this incredible couple alongside my lovely doula partner Gina of The Sown Seed and I’ve spent most of today thinking about the lessons I’ve learned over the past two years and 50+ births. I have, of course, learned so much about birth, and the power and beauty of birthing people, and about photography, but I think I’ve learned the most about myself. Which brings me to this birth. This gallery is misleading. What you don’t see is the shoulder dystocia. You don’t see the room filling with hospital staff, mama’s knees being brought up to her ears, nurses pushing on her stomach while her midwife attempts to work that baby out of her, and so of course you don’t see any images of that maneuver, called McRoberts, not working. And you also don’t see mama’s midwife giving her a third degree episiotomy and then, later, stitching her back up again. You do see mama working hard to push her baby out, and you see her partner’s support and his waiting arms as he prepares to catch their baby, and you see the lovely golden hour moments they shared with their brand new babe. But you don’t see any pictures of that emergency situation. Why? Because I didn’t take any. One of the biggest things I’ve learned in the last two beautiful, birth-filled years is to trust myself. To trust my judgement and to decide when to document and when to step away. And I’ve learned that I’m entirely capable of remaining calm during an emergency and even being able to help during a scary time.

When I first started shooting births, I saw a lot of other birth photographers saying that one of their main goals was to be a fly on the wall, to be an invisible presence, to document without impacting their client’s day and so I, too, adopted that as my philosophy. But it didn’t feel quite right and after a few births I realized: that’s not me. I don’t want to be invisible; I want to help. I don’t want to not have an impact; I want to contribute to a lovely, calm, beautiful atmosphere for my clients. I don’t want to be a fly on the wall; I want to be supportive and caring and an asset beyond just capturing your day. And so that’s what I do: I document, and I fluff pillows, and I keep an eye out for chapped lips on thirsty mamas, and sometimes I put a hand on a shoulder and whisper reassuring words. And I’m so glad that’s who I am: not only someone who can capture your baby’s first birthday and all the emotions, moments big and small, and beauty that goes along with it but someone who is an active part of your birth team and is wholly there for you in all the ways I can be.

If you’re interested in booking a birth story session, chatting about your birth plans, or just talking about birth photography in general, I’d love to hear from you.

Interested in booking a birth story session? learn more!